Friday 5~ Favorite Places: San Diego Edition

I’ve talked a lot about home and the things that I miss here on the blog, including some of my favorite places that I’ll be mentioning here. To celebrate my trip home (in about 6 weeks!), I would share my 5 favorite places in San Diego. I’ll also be sharing my 5 favorite places in Seattle in a later blog.

1. The San Diego Zoo(s). Without a doubt, the zoos in San Diego are some of the best in the world. The Zoo itself has always been one of my favorite places to spend the day. I used to head to the zoo on my day off and wander the park early in the day before it got too crowded, then would grab some lunch and head home before traffic hit. Then there’s the Wild Animal Park (now named Safari Park) which is utterly amazing in its sheer size. I didn’t frequent the Park as often since it was further from my house and generally entailed a full day to truly absorb it all, but I love it just the same. And every time I went to either the Zoo or the Park, I always had to get a soft serve ice cream… it was a tradition I upheld even on rainy days.

2. Balboa Park. Right next door to the San Diego Zoo (literally) is Balboa Park, where the World’s Fair was held in San Diego and now home to numerous museums (and hiking trails). I have always loved wandering through the streets (some closed to cars, others not) enjoying the architecture and fountains. I have picnic-ed sitting on the steps of the Organ Pavilion, strolled through the Botanical Gardens and yes, wandered through the museums countless times. My favorite museums are the Museum of Man and the International Cottages (separate cottages for different countries). Also part of Balboa Park are the Golden Globe theater and the Starlight Bowl amphitheater, I have seen several shows including Chess and Jesus Christ Superstar at the Starlight Bowl.

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3. Mission Beach. I love the water and could spend the entire day just sitting and watching the waves. As a matter of fact, I’ve done just that in December when the crowds are gone. I also used to drive out in the mornings to walk along the boardwalk before the heat of the day (and the crowds) set in. As a kid, we used to spend a lot of time at Mission Beach (or Mission Bay or La Jolla Shores), and I have so many great memories. Plus there’s a wooden roller coaster that’s a lot of fun too. (As well as a few bars and clubs and countless ice cream stands).

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4. The Hotel del Coronado. As a kid, the Del was a dream place. We didn’t go over to Coronado very often, but I always thought the hotel was so magical. Then I went to work there! I worked for a year and a half in the gifts shops owned by the Hotel. While some of the magic was lost by my behind the scenes time at the hotel, I still think it is utterly beautiful. And I couldn’t help but get caught up in the legendary ghost story attached to the hotel… especially since I had a few encounters with the ghost (Kate) myself!

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5. There are a lot of different places I could select for my final favorite place (Pt Loma Lighthouse, Seaport Village, Petco Park, etc.), but the last entry on the list has to be my parents’ house. Not the house itself (and really its an apartment), because I’ve never even lived there with them, and they’ve moved several times, but it’s really my parents themselves. Wherever they live, wherever they are will always be one of my favorite places… just because they’re there.

Have you ever been to San Diego? What are your favorite places?

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